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Vernon smith

I don t think Schumpeter understood Smith. That he could not write WN until he had a theory of Society that accounted for Property from Propriety. Without “security from injury” no one has property in body, mind, and the productivity of your mind and body. As Smith says it so well in WN the rich want property to keep the poor from seizing it, but that empowers everybody and the unintended gains from specialization built on prices that reveal previously hidden reservation values. Same in Society; neighborhoods are hotbeds of local information revelation underlying reciprocity exchange and creation of social wealth. Smith’s propositions on Beneficence and Justice require common knowledge of self-interest to know what is benefit (more) and what is hurt (less). Key idea is to distinguish BEING self-interested and ACTING self-interestedly. Rules based on bottom-up self-command are the heart and soul of Liberalism/
Freedom and the English/Scotch got this right. Smith saw it all in his final critique of British colonialism in WN. His loyalty to the colonies was integral to his loyalty to the Crown.

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.


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